Chess in the Park
Bundled up, in winter dress,
In the park, they play at chess.
Most are quiet, one shouts out.
Concentrate, or risk a rout,
That's the nature of the game,
Played for pleasure, or for fame.
Here they meet, 'most every day,
Working hard, but not for pay
That would help meet rent or bill.
Yet they seem to have their fill,
Not of dollars, but of joys,
Like a child who plays with toys.
The words they speak, I cannot ken –
The Slavic speech of migrant men,
Far from their lands, ruled once by Tsars,
And mangled, next, by commissars.
Here they gather, to play chess,
And to speak, some more, some less,
Of the lands they left behind,
And new problems that they find,
In this, the promised land of West,
Where each must strive to do his best,
Forself, or fear one day to find
That they, too, have been left behind.
Arjun (Babui) Janah, < email@example.com >
Bensonhurst Park, Brooklyn, New York.